Monday, April 1, 2013

B: Boxing Day

Since Easter has passed, let’s talk about Christmas, shall we?!

December 26 is a national holiday known as Boxing Day in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada. Many people do not really understand the historical meaning of this holiday (kind-of like Christmas and Easter!), believing it to have arisen from the need to empty the house of empty gift boxes the day after Christmas. Rather, from what I can tell, December 25th was traditionally the date upon which people exchanged gifts with their equals – family and friends; while the 26th was a day for alms – when people gave gifts to those subservient to them, such as employees, servants, and the poor.

Honestly, I think Boxing Day has a more applicable meaning than our current translation of Christmas Day to the true spirit of Christmas. Christmas honors the historic moment when God became incarnate in human flesh, as the epitomic act of unearned favor, to live and die a human life in order to offer humanity true compassion and the gift of reconciliation with Him. As it plays out, though, Christmas is more often a time of exhaustion, overspending, and ungratefulness. (Don’t get me wrong – I actually really love the Christmas season!)

Wouldn’t it be better to honor God’s greatest gift…one which could not possibly ever be reciprocated…by giving with no strings attached to those less fortunate, as is the traditional habit on Boxing Day?

But then again…

During Easter I had a chance to partake of Communion. As I sat there holding my cup and cracker, I thought of how many people now and throughout the last two millennia have participated in this sacrament. I felt like God was saying to me, “Melody, you are a part of this. You’re included.” And really, isn’t that the whole point?

What did Jesus do for us? He changed our status. No longer do we receive our gifts on Boxing Day…no longer are we just the poor beggars down the street, mostly forgotten, but for this one time of the year…but we have been brought into the “in” group that exchanges its gifts on Christmas Day. Through Christ we have all been made equals. As Christ’s, we understand that each person is precious to Him, and all are invited to the same table of celebration.

I want to begin to recognize Boxing Day as an annual tradition, by volunteering in some service to my fellow humans. But more than that, I want to live each day in the attitude of Christmas – loving my neighbors as myself and, more importantly, as Christ.

“…For whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine [the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned], you did for Me” (--Jesus, in Matthew 25:40, NIV).
(When I went to save this picture to my files, I was going to call it simply “poor hands” but found it was already called “giving hands”. I think I like that better – giving hands, though often dirty, are beautiful, don’t you think?)

18 comments:

  1. I love love this post and your blog! Just lovely! Thank you! I'm a new follower too--swinging around from A to Z.

    www.diaryofasquaretoothedgirl.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you!! I have been reading your posts the last 2 or 3 weeks, too, and also love your blog :). Thank you for the follow!

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    1. Thank you, Duncan! I look forward to reading your posts!

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  3. Great stuff. Melody.
    You might be interested on my Christian musings on auntyamo.com
    although I'm doing AtoZ on my fiction blog.
    Keep going - love it!

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    1. Thank you for letting me know about your other blog - I love it! Got to wrap up work, but then I will also check out your fiction blog :)

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  4. This is a lovely and thoughtful post. Will check back to see whatelse you come up with on the A to Z.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Elizabeth!

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  5. Both of your posts have helped clear up questions I've recently had. This weekend people kept saying "They made Easter so early this year". I kept trying to explain that "they" don't do anything, it's a day that follows a series of occurrences. So I immediately texted some friends and family yesterday to explain to the how Easter falls.

    Quite honestly, I thought boxing had something to do with the boxes too. Seemed like a weird holiday to me. Thank you for clearing it up.

    Jen

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    1. I'm glad it helped!! I actually did not know what Boxing Day was, either - stumbled across it by accident when preparing for A to Z, and thought it would be a worthwhile thing to blog about. :)

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  6. You are so right that Boxing Day seems to capture the true meaning of Christmas. May we have many "boxing days" throughout the year!

    Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

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  7. Excellent post. I need to incorporate Boxing Day into our lives. Visiting from the A to Z.
    A2Z Mommy And What’s In between

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    1. Thanks, Tracy! I look forward to reading your post!

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  8. One of my friends is SUPER grinchy and hates Christmas. Mostly she hates that she HAS to spend a lot of money on her siblings' kids when she gets hardly the same sort of reciprocation (she has no kids or partner of her own). And I can see her POV.

    I resent Christmas too, for that reason, and would much rather give to people who really need it.

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    1. Interesting way of looking at it :). I don't resent it - but I do usually resist spending a whole lot of money I don't have on gifts. That's a lot harder when there are expectant little ones involved!

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  9. Beautifully written.
    Connie #133
    A to Z Challenge.
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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